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WESLEYAN METHODIST SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION,
2, LUDGATE CIRCUS BUILDINGS, E.C. ; 2, CASTLE STREET, City ROAD, E.C.

1881.

PRINTED BY BEMROSE AND SONS, 23, OLD BAILEY, LONDON

AND DERBY.

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SUNDAY SCHOOL MAGAZINE.

THE DUTY OF SUNDAY SCHOOLS TO SOCIETY.

R HRISTIAN Socialism, or the duty of Religion to Society,

is one of the most important subjects of the day, and, perhaps, one of the most difficult with which the thinkers

and leaders of the church of Christ have to grapple. Modern life is very complex. The eye sees the outward form, but there is much beyond. It sees the social usages, the class distinctions, the personal limitations, the joy and the struggle, some of the magnanimity and far more of the despicable. But there is infinitely more behind the outer life.

We need to know how the society of to-day is influenced by the principles upon which all right living is based ; and we want to learn how the Sunday School institution can help to mould, improve, influence, and teach masses of youths so as beneficially to affect society.

It is to be feared that the religious guidance of life is at a very low • point. Myriads are living too fast ; they are over-worked, tired, and jaded. Even children at school are under high pressure. People attempt to put much more into life than it will contain ; so that in circles where, in our grandfather's time, family life was delightful, homes now are becoming mere boarding houses, and the wholesome moral tone which comes from well-ordered family life is, in too many cases, sadly missed. This is a social calamity. Then in the higher departments of our schools young persons are trained to aim higher than they can go, and tastes are created which cannot be gratified. These schools become simply schools for the intellect, not for the heart, not for the guidance of life. They are doubtless good for some, but they are also nurseries of our educated criminal class. And there is no check upon this in many homes, and very little from our organised religious institutions. Hitherto Sunday School instruction has done something to meet the needs in this case, but very little, and must do much more if Christian principle and life are to be as influential in the future as they were even years ago, and as they should be.

We see how angry the lower social class becomes at the seeming independence of capital ; and there has sprung up an order of men who are preachers of a new gospel which is to be the statement of the relations of capital and labour.

Dec.-Jan., 1881

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